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Liam Buckley, manager of St Pat's, admits his team will be underdogs when they play Polish title winners Legia Warsaw

Liam Buckley, manager of St Pat's, admits his team will be underdogs when they play Polish title winners Legia Warsaw

Liam Buckley, manager of St Pat's, admits his team will be underdogs when they play Polish title winners Legia Warsaw

On a day when all four Irish clubs were presented with winnable – but not particularly glamorous – European draws, their respective managers were uniformly preaching caution.

Clearly the memory of what happened last summer – when all four competing Irish sides bowed out of Europe without a single win between them – remains fresh. Yet, while talk of respect is all well and good, the words of a newcomer to the Irish game, John Coleman, stood out as he reflected on Sligo Rovers' pairing with Lithuanian side FK Banga.

"We won't get carried away," said the new Sligo boss. "We've to go to their place first and get a result but once the tie comes back to The Showgrounds, it is down to ourselves. We must believe."

For Liam Buckley, manager of champions St Pat's, there is an accepted understanding that his team will be underdogs when they meet the Polish title winners Legia Warsaw in the Champions League second qualifying round.

"Certainly it is tough enough for us," said Buckley, "and we will take them on their merits, assess them via video and get out to see their pre-season games."

HISTORY

Legia, managed by the Norwegian Henning Berg, have won back-to-back Polish titles and have a fine history in Europe.

Aberystwyth Town hardly possess a similar pedigree and their pairing with Derry City offers the easiest hurdle for an Irish side.

"I'm happy enough," said Derry manager Peter Hutton. "We'll respect them, obviously, but it does offer a chance to progress."

So too does Dundalk's date with AS Jeunesse Esch of Luxembourg.

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A win would also set Dundalk up for a date with Hajduk Split. Sligo will play the winners of Rosenborg versus Jelgava if they progress.

Meanwhile, Kenny has strongly criticised the FAI for handing out a three-match ban to his striker David McMillan. The forward clashed with St Pat's Derek Foran in their league game two weeks ago, resulting in McMillan receiving a straight red card.

"It is outrageous," said Kenny, "David hardly did anything. He was guilty of being naive. Their player (Foran) over-reacted. He went down as if he was shot."

Elsewhere, Ian Baraclough, sacked by Sligo last Thursday, declared he is ready to return to the game as soon as possible.

"I am ready for the next challenge," said Baraclough. "I'm proud of my achievements in Sligo, winning three trophies and helping to put Sligo back on the map.

Champions League qualifying rd 2 draw

Legia Warsaw v St Patrick's Athletic. First leg July 15/16; second leg July 22/23.

Europa League qualifying rd 1 draw

Derry City v Aberystwyth; FK Banga v Sligo Rovers; Jeunesse Esch v Dundalk. First legs July 3; second leg July 10.


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